Made in New York, version 2011, combines a variety of media into a show worth driving to Auburn to see
This year’s edition of Made in New York, on display at Auburn’s Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, is a large show presenting 77 artworks including sculptures, paintings, digital photos and digital animation, among other media. Especially noteworthy are a few outstanding paintings, with more sculptures than have appeared in the annual exhibit in a long time, and a number of connections that arise between some of the pieces.
The exhibition, for example, displays “Optimism,”
Lori Ellis’ big, bold painting featuring a radiant female protagonist full of energy and life. At the same time, she’s juxtaposed against a barren landscape in the painting’s background.
Bob Potts’ sculpture, “Pursuit II,” made of steel, aluminum, bronze, brass and an electric motor, seems present in a region between functional, mechanical objects and an artist’s creative impulses. Upon first seeing the piece, it’s easy to imagine turning it on.
And Rob Licht’s artworks, “Memory, Preserved” and “Steel House,” take an unorthodox yet intimate approach to reflecting on one’s formative years. He’s built two small houses with no view of their interiors, influencing viewers to both speculate about Licht’s family and to recall their own experiences growing up.
Licht’s work is tied to other artworks in the show directly and indirectly. Certainly, it has some connection to Chris Oliver’s sculpture, “Delmar.” He built that piece, using nails and pine, red-rosin paper and polyurethane, and louver doors extracted from a house. Indirect ties are seen in several artworks that extend inside a house. Dewey Fladd’s digital photo, “Boy in a Box,” depicts a teenager in a room, insulated from the rest of a house and the outer world.
Also intriguing is “May I Make a House, Too?” Minna Resnick’s piece, combining watercolor, a photo collograph and mixedmedia drawing, portrays a female figure, raising questions about her life, her role within a household.
The exhibit contains other noteworthy artworks, such as “Meredith” and “Christi Again,” two fine portraits by Gregory Lawler. Wendy Harris’ “Hot Winter River,” brings dazzling hues to a cold looking lateyear scene. And Paul Haberlau’s “Birches,” done in graphite on paper, captures a stark winter scene.
Made in New York 2011 doesn’t present a large selection of photos, but there is certainly finequality work on display, ranging from Laura Jackett’s image of a night scene at the Burning Man Festival, to Peter Mahan’s silver gelatin print, “Waverly Station—Interior,” to Neil Chowdhury’s digital photomontage, “Burdens and Desires.” It captures 21st-century India, merging chaotic traffic in a major city, scenes of a more traditional lifestyle, artifacts representing Hinduism and much more.
The show also displays “Twilight in the Gulf” and “Heir Wars,” digital photos created by Paul Pearce. The first image references the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the Vietnam War while the second deals with war’s aftermath. These photos are both worthy in themselves and representative of Pearce’s larger body of work.
Like its predecessors, Made in New York 2011 has its own identity, one based on decisions made by the exhibit’s curators, Kenise Barnes and Kim Waale. Their choices led to an exhibition with more sculptures and fewer of the installations that played a key role in past Made in New York shows. The 2011 mix does a nice job of showcasing individual pieces and surveying work from artists living across New York state: in Ithaca and Syracuse, Rochester and Oswego, New Paltz and Brooklyn.
Made in New York 2011 is on display through May 29 at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, 205 Genesee St., Auburn. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 255-1553.
“Burdens and Desires”: Neil Chowdhury’s 2011 digital photomontage, set in 21st-century India, offers chaos, tradition and much more.
“May I Make a House, Too?”: Minna Resnick’s 2010 piece asks questions regarding a woman’s role within a household.
“Hot Winter River”: Wendy Harris’ 2010 work mixes acrylics and soft pastels.